Last week my friend Emily Vallevand came over to talk tea. Emily and I first met working at David’s Tea. Emily started working for the company over 5 years ago in Regina. In 2013 she transferred to the Yorkdale mall location in Toronto, where I was working at the time. Even though I have since moved on to new things, Emily and I have stayed in touch getting together for dinners, drinks and of course tea. Emily loves working at David’s Tea, she has stayed on with the company, although she has had to cut back on shifts because of her career as a freelance interior decorator.
Rachel: Why do you love tea?
Emily: I’ve always thought that tea is what brings people together. When I was little it was the way that our family included us in the grownup aspect of things, after dinner they would say “who wants a tea?” and all the kids would be like “yea I want one!” because you would feel like one of the grown ups. And then I got older and it became a thing with friends to meet up and and have a tea and try this new place or new thing. I think there is so much variety to it that you can like, or appreciate everything and share what you enjoy with others. It brings everyone together, it’s just this warm fun thing you can have together.
Rachel: What is your favorite tea?
Emily: I don’t have a favorite tea, I like tea. I drink different teas for different occasions, different times of the day and for different reasons. If I was going about my daily tea drinking routine: I normally like to start my day with a black tea with a heavier, richer, bolder flavor. I sometimes in the morning enjoy putting a little bit of sugar and a little bit of milk in. In the afternoon I prefer to have a white tea a green tea or sometimes an oolong. White tea is my preference over green tea, but there are a few green teas that I like. In the evening I find I can’t really drink caffeine because it stimulates me too much and I’ll stay up all night. If I need a boost in the late afternoon I will drink a rooibos because it is very high in antioxidants and is very hydrating, I find that it can often give me enough of a boost without the caffeine. Then in the evening I will have a nice herbal tea or another rooibos.
Rachel: Why do you prefer white tea over green?
Emily: I prefer the flavor palate of white tea. Green tea has that grassy or oceanic seaweed flavor that sometimes is just a little too much for me. White tea even if it has a little bit of that grassy flavor it is more towards the sweet pea or vegetal side which I prefer.
Rachel: How many cups of tea do you drink in a day?
Emily: I would say, in my normal routine a minimum of five. In the morning when I get to work I could have a cup or two first thing just checking my email. Then throughout the day I usually just keep pouring that kettle, I usually just drink all day.
Rachel: We are getting ready to enjoy a cup of tea now, what are you making us?
Emily: We are going to have Kenyan Tinderet from David’s Tea. Like I was saying my favorite thing is to start my day with something to eat and a nice cup of strong tea; this is one of my favorites. I drink pretty much exclusively David’s Tea but not because it’s the only tea out there or the best. Even though I am open other companies, I think David’s has a lot of great stuff, and since I work there and I am just always at David’s Tea so that’s where most of my collection is from. The thing I like about Kenyan Tinderet is that is very bold and black but it has a crisp honey note to it. I was thinking about what treats would pair well with it so I also bought pain au chocolat I think the butteriness and the honey flavor will go together really nicely.
The tea was bold and strong, the snacks were a delicious touch and accompanied the tea perfectly, and the company was just the best.